Board member, First elected: 2022
Ruby Lee is the President and CEO of Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES). She joined CLUES in August 2012 after a long professional career in private philanthropy, media and state government. As president of Minnesota’s largest Latino nonprofit, she oversees a $15 million annual budget, 120 employees and several programs and initiatives that focus on three goals: advancing community wellness, leadership and prosperity.
Originally from Guatemala, Ruby has 40 years of experience supporting social, educational and economic advancement for Latinos and new Americans in Minnesota and across the country. Her experience includes 16 years providing leadership in philanthropy and guiding strategic funding efforts to fight racism at the Saint Paul Foundation and poverty at the Northwest Area Foundation. She served on the Governor’s Workforce Board and founded and chaired the Race & Equity Committee on Education and Employment.
Throughout her tenure at CLUES, Ruby led the organization through two strategic planning processes, which transformed the 40-year organization to the next level of success and maturity. In 2019, CLUES expanded its work to include socio-economic mobility and advocacy while building social capital. It also expanded to incorporate Latino arts and cultural traditions as a form of healing and care for acute and complex socio-economic trauma and well-being.
CLUES’ mission is to advance social and economic equity and well-being for Latinos by building upon our strengths and cultures, uplifting our community and activating leadership for systemic change. Under Ruby’s leadership, CLUES completed an $8 million capital expansion of its headquarters to a 40,000-square-foot building and an $8 million capital expansion in a high poverty neighborhood, which now provides a safe place for Latinos and neighborhood residents to have access to coding and technology, workforce and career training, and youth and children programming. CLUES also has offices and behavioral health clinics in Minneapolis and three additional offices managed by local staff located in Willmar, Austin and Mankato.
Ruby was born and raised in Guatemala City where her family still resides. She serves on local and national boards and is a strong advocate of Latinos and immigrants across the country. She believes that collaboration and inclusion are two vital tools in finding solutions to the challenges immigrants face today.